Christmas Events in Florida for a Magical December 2017!

Come December, the state of Florida transforms itself into the enchanted winter wonderland! Garlanded with twinkling lights, adorned with Christmas trees, coated with artificial snow, decked-up in colorful hues and hosting a huge plethora of wonderful activities, Florida will dazzle you during the holiday season. 

Christmas Events in Florida

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

From Yuletide shows, holiday markets, bewitching lights choreographed to holiday tunes, fireworks to Santa villages, concerts, parades and Christmas delicacies – Florida is sure to put even the grumpiest person from your group into the cheerful, festive mood! Also, the not-bitingly-cold weather of Florida in the month of December ensures that you enjoy Christmas without freezing. Read on to know more about the best Christmas events in Florida that are sure to bring out the biggest holiday cheer.

  • Pensacola Winterfest - 24 Nov to 24 Dec, 2017
  • ICE! Orlando - 21 Nov to 8 Jan 8, 2018
  • Santa’s Enchanted Forest - 2 Nov to 7 Jan, 2018
  • St. Augustine Christmas Parade - 2nd Dec, 2017
  • Festival of Trees, Orlando - 11 to 19 Nov, 2017
  • Annual Key West Holiday Fest - 23 Nov to 31 Dec, 2017
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party - 09 Nov - 22 Dec 22, 2017
  • Now Snowing, Celebration - 25 Nov – 31 Dec
  • Christmas Town 2017, Tampa Bay - 19 Nov - 31 Dec 31
  • Boat Parade and Winter Festival  - 8 Dec 2017

1. Pensacola Winterfest – Christmas Shenanigans at Their Best!

Pensacola Winterfest

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Your beloved Christmas characters of Snoopy, Elvis, Frost, and the Whos of Whoville come to life at the Pensacola Winterfest in Florida. Hot chocolate, lights, decorations and cheer flow in abundance at this magical Winterfest, making Pensacola one of the best places to spend Christmas in Florida! Santa’s Puppy Party, Rudolph’s Revue with dancing Christmas trees and Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree lot are some of the newest activities that have been added to the list of exciting events at the Winterfest this year. 

In addition to the activities, the Performance Tour, the Polar Express Tour and the Grinch Tour take you on a memorable Christmas journey with the fun performances and acts. The tour ticket prices range from 7 USD to 35 USD with separate prices for kids and adults while the parades, games and other activities are mostly free of cost. 

When? November 24, 2017 – December 24, 2017

Where? Pensacola

What’s cool? The Santa Downtown, the laughable Elf Parade and the Polar Express Tour

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2. ICE! at Gaylord Palms, Orlando – The World of Hand-carved Ice Sculptures

ICE! at Gaylord Palms, Orlando

A striking display of interactive ice sculptures carved from 2 million pounds of ice awaits you at the ICE! event at Gaylord Palms.  Inarguably one of the must-attend Christmas events in Orlando, the ICE! impresses you with a thrilling light show, live performances, ice slides and gingerbread crafting. Another USP of this event is a personal meet and greet session with DreamWorks characters! What’s more, this year’s theme is a tribute to beloved holiday classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, thus making this event in Florida all the more exciting!

All this enthusiasm will make you forget the icy-cold atmosphere that is due to the 9-degree Celsius temperature maintained in this place! The ticket prices at the ICE! are around 16.99 USD for kids, 29.99 USD for adults and 28.99 USD for senior citizens. These prices include complimentary coats and gloves. Book online in advance to avail their early-bird discounts! Discover things to do in Orlando this festive season.

When? November 21, 2017 – January 8, 2018

Where? Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, 6000 West Osceola Parkway Kissimmee Florida

What’s cool? 20,000 square feet of hand-carved ice sculptures and two-story tall ice slides

Check Out: What else to see in Orlando besides theme parks?

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3. Santa’s Enchanted Forest, Miami – A Boulevard of Activities

Santa’s Enchanted Forest, Miami

Image Source: Claudia Brauer/flickr.com

Carnival booths and thrilling rides amp up the excitement quotient at the Santa’s Enchanted Forest, Miami. The gaieties at the Enchanting Forest begin with over 100 rides, animal encounters, adventure experiences, and a long list of interactive games. Thanks to this immense variety of activities offered, being a part of the Christmas celebrations at the Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Miami has to be on the top of your list of things to do in Florida in December. 

With light shows, photo opportunities with Santa and millions of stunning lights along South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree, this place is sure to bless you with a large number of Instagram-worthy photos! To avail a fun-filled time at the Enchanted Forest, book your tickets today! The ticket options include a Single Day Pass, a Season Pass (unlimited access for the entire 2017 season) or an Express Pass (this one lets you skip all the long queues for rides!) with different pricing for kids, adults and senior citizens. 

When? November 2, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Where? Tropical Park, Miami

What’s cool? Over 100 rides, animal encounters, adventure experiences and interactive games

Check Out: Top Flea Markets in Miami

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4. St. Augustine Christmas Parade – The Night of Lights

St. Augustine Christmas Parade

Image Source: Joe Ross/flickr.com

The charming city of St. Augustine boasts a 21-year-old annual award-winning holiday lights display tradition known as the nights of lights celebration. For two months every year, each nook and corner of this city is bedecked with more than 3 million twinkling lights. There are numerous seasonal tours that take you through the best areas of Nights of Lights including walking tours, train and trolley tours, horse-and-carriage tour and even ones that let you see the lights from the water and from the air!

To add to this enchanting sight, the annual Christmas parade weaves down the 450-year-old brick streets and presents you with endless photo-ops and that too, for free! A stroll down the fairy-tale-like streets of St. Augustine has to be on your trip plan as you search for things to do in Florida during Christmas! 

When? December 2, 2017

Where? St. Augustine

What’s cool? An impressive display of dazzling lights that has been awarded as one of the top 10 Best Holiday Lighting Displays in The World by National Geographic

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5. Festival of Trees, Orlando – An Exquisite Collection of Christmas Trees 

Festival of Trees, Orlando

Captivating visitors with the old-school charm and traditional Christmas elegance, the Festival of Trees organized by Orlando Museum of Art is now in its 31st year. Showcasing a huge collection of designer Christmas trees of all sizes, this festival is a favorite among locals as well as tourists. If this extraordinary display of Christmas trees wasn’t enough to blow you away, this exhibition also features a mindboggling assortment of holiday vignettes, wreaths, Christmas trinkets and table top displays! Also, they have their very own gingerbread house where local culinary artists exhibit their talents!

The tickets to this sparkling utopian land where trees, wreaths and holiday vignettes kindle the holiday spirit cost 15 USD for adults and 5 USD for children. The display is open from 10am-5pm. If you really want to experience what’s Christmas like in Florida, do not miss a visit to the Festival of Trees in Orlando.

When? November 11-19, 2017

Where? Orlando Museum of Art

What’s cool? A stunning display of designer Christmas trees

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6. Annual Key West Holiday Fest – A Traditional Christmas Experience

Annual Key West Holiday Fest

Considered to be one of the grandest Christmas events in the USA, the Annual Key West Holiday Fest must be on your travel itinerary if you are planning to spend the Christmas vacations in Florida. Bequeathing you with a chance to celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause himself, this event takes up attractiveness quotient of holiday events in Florida up by another notch. Two outstanding holiday parades, one on the land and one on water, add to the glam factor of the Annual Key West Holiday Fest.

The opportunity to tour the historic inns and ring in the period of merriments in a traditional style and the prospect grabbing a glass of tasty eggnog while you enjoy these festivities is what makes the Annual Key West Holiday Fest an enticing option for everyone! 

When? November 23 - December 31, 2017

Where? Key West

What’s cool? Spectacular holiday parades and tours of historic inns

Check Out: Best US Cities to Bring in the New Year

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7. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – A Joyful Gala 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Image Source: Jared/flickr.com

Extraordinary fireworks, castle dream lights, parades, live performances, character dance parties and Christmas shows – all this about sums up the Christmas celebrations at the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom of Disney. Touted to be the most kid-friendly Christmas event in Florida, the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hit among tourists. A huge gala which is full of dancing and music, the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the ideal destination for Christmas celebration in Florida!

The ticket prices to this magnificent event change on a daily basis but on an average, oscillate between 85 USD to 100 USD for those above 10 years of age. The rates are different for kids between the age group of 3 to 9 years while those below 3 years are admitted for free. 

When? November 09 - December 22, 2017

Where? Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

What’s cool? Extraordinary fireworks, castle dream lights, parades, live performances and character dance parties 

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8. Now Snowing, Celebration – A Snowy Carnival 

Now Snowing, Celebration

Image Source: Leigh Caldwell/flickr.com

Now Snowing, Celebration is Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event. Promising to treat you to a snowy-white Christmas even in the sunny state of Florida, the Now Snowing event is a month-long spectacle featuring strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, community performers, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM. To top it off, this place also has an ice rink which will be open daily from 4:00-10:00 PM during the event!

The ticket prices at this event depend upon the activities that you choose. The train ride tickets cost around 5 USD, the Horse and Carriage Rides 45 USD and the ice skating rink charges 10 USD for 1-2 hours (prices include skate rentals). This family-friendly Christmas event in Florida is indeed a charming place that promises to treat you to a jubilant holiday!

When? November 25 – December 31

Where? Celebration, Osceola County, Florida

What’s cool? Strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, community performers, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and nightly snowfall

Check Out: Best New Years Eve Fireworks in the World

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9. Christmas Town 2017, Busch Garden, Tampa Bay – An Arena of Festivities

Christmas Town 2017, Tampa Bay

Image Source: Jared/flickr.com

One of the most prestigious holiday events in Tampa, the Christmas Town in Busch Garden is a celebration of everything that symbolizes Christmas – from an array of live entertainment options, holiday shopping, and plenty of festive treats to Santa House complete with elves and party treats like peppermint hot chocolate, warm cookies, and pumpkin funnel cakes! 

This year, special characters like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Christmas Town’s Sam the Snowman will be gracing the Christmas town with their presence and adding to the fun factor of this place! Book the tickets to this enchanting Christmas town and unbox some fun-filled times! Different events in the Christmas Town are priced differently and so you can buy the tickets to only the activities that you would like to be a part of!

When? November 19 - December 31

Where? Busch Garden, Tampa Bay

What’s cool? Breakfast with Rudolf, Guided holiday tours and holiday samplers

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10. Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park, St. Pete – An Off-beat Christmas Time

Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for an off-beat Christmas experience in Florida, the Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park, St. Pete is the place you should be heading to. Watching the long fleet boats twinkling with decorated lights make their way across the water and the dark horizon is one mesmerizing sight! In addition to the boat parade, the Winter Festival at the Park is all that you need to catch up that festive spirit. Replete with a holiday market and boasting of live performances, this winter extravaganza is one that you should definitely not miss!

When? 8 December 2017

Where? Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Dr, St Pete Beach

What’s cool? The long fleet boats twinkling with decorated lights

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Christmas is all about celebration and festivities. And, what better place to ring in these revelries than at the entertaining holiday events in Florida? Off you go to these wonderland-like venues for your share of Christmas fun!

More on the festive season:

Christmas markets in NYC

Best Christmas Trees in NYC

Places to Visit in Europe in December

Unusual Christmas Holiday Destinations For a Different Vacation

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MEGHANA AGASHE MEGHANA AGASHE

Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for adventures is what drew her to the world of travel. An effervescent and a happy-go-lucky person who draws inspiration from the world of books and movies, she believes in mostly following her heart and very rarely, her brain! One moment you might find her curled up with a book and a cup of coffee while in the next, she might be reaching out for her keys and heading for a road-trip. Unpredictability is something that defines her the best and her sensitive nature juxtaposing with her ambitious attitude, makes her a contradiction of all sorts.

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